Mushroom ID information sprouts on Internet, in guides

There’s no substitute for a good guide book.

Information about mushrooms abounds on the Internet and there’s no shortage of web sites offering tips on finding, identifying, cleaning and cooking chanterelles.

However, these do you little good when you’re a mile into the woods and staring at a mushroom you can’t quite identify.

The safest move, when you’re not absolutely sure and forgot to pack that handy field guide, is to leave it unmolested after taking photos for later research.

A short and subjective (and not at all exclusive) list of beneficial mushroom books includes “Mushrooms Demystified: A Comprehensive Guide to the Fleshy Funghi,” and “All the Rain Promises and More,” by American mycologist David Arora; “The Audubon Society’s Field Guide to Mushrooms” and “The Complete Mushroom Hunter,” both by Gary Lincoff; and “100 Edible Mushrooms” by Michael Kou, who also has the website mushroomexpert.com.

Other books and manuals of local application include “Wild Mushrooms of Telluride,” co-edited by Lincoff, Linnea Gillman, Art Goodtimes and Jason Salzman; “Mushrooms of Colorado and Adjacent Areas,” by Mary Hallock Wells and D.H. Mitchel; and “Stalking the Wild Mushroom,” by the Colorado Mycological Society.

One of my go-to sites is http://www.coloradomushrooms.com.

This offers some insights and advice, including habitat, descriptions and even some cooking hints (Creme of Chanterelle soup, anyone?) for the mushrooms you might find around the state.

There also is the Colorado Mycological Society, which meets monthly, offering classes and regular mushroom-seeking forays and an annual mushroom fair (this year’s fair was Aug. 17 at the Denver Botanical Gardens).

Information at http://www.cmsweb.org.


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